Tag Archives: Library guides

Library Guide: Gender Studies–Purchase College (April, 2002)

Gender Studies

This guide lists sources of information on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered resources. (For Women’s Studies, please consult the Women’s Studies library guide.Listed are print and online resources. Any questions or comments about this handout should be directed to the Reference Desk.

Reference Works
Conner, Randy P. Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Lore. Ref. BL795.H6 C65 1997 [Subject headings: Homosexuality–Mythology—Encyclopedias; Homosexuality–Religious aspects—Encyclopedias; Homosexuality in art—Encyclopedias; Lesbianism–Mythology—Encyclopedias; Lesbianism–Religious aspects—Encyclopedias; Lesbianism in art—Encyclopedias; Bisexuality–Mythology—Dictionaries; Bisexuality–Religious aspects—Dictionaries; Bisexuality in art–Encyclopedias]

Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Edited by Wayne Dynes. 2 vols. Ref. HQ76.25 .E53 1990 [Subject heading: Homosexuality–Encyclopedias]

Gay & Lesbian Biography. Edited by Michael J. Tyrkus. Ref. HQ75.2 .G39 1996 [Subject heading: Gays–Biography–Dictionaries]

Gay Histories and Cultures: an Encyclopedia. Edited by George E. Haggerty. Ref. HQ75.13 .G37 2000 [Subject headings: Gay men—Encyclopedias; Homosexuality, Male—Encyclopedias]

Herbst, Philip H. Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers : an Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Gender and Sexual Orientation Bias in the United States. Ref. HQ76.45.U5 H47 2001 [Subject headings: Heterosexism–United States—Dictionaries; Sexism–United States—Dictionaries]

Hogan, Steve. Completely Queer: the Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia. Ref. HQ75 .H63 1998 [Subject headings: Gays—Encyclopedias; Gay men—Encyclopedias; Lesbians–Encyclopedias]

International Directory of Gay and Lesbian Periodicals. Compiled by H. Robert Malinowsky. Ref. HQ76.25 .M35 1987 [Subject heading: Homosexuality–Periodicals–Directories]

Though dated, this directory has not been republished and is currently out of print. The directory lists journals alphabetically, by subject and finally by publisher/editor. A short description of the journal is usually given. The entries also include frequency, publisher and subject terms.

Kranz, Rachel, and Tim Cusick. Gay Rights. Ref. HQ76.8.U5 K73 2000 [Subject heading: Gay rights–United States]

Gives an overview of the topic, chronology, glossary, biographies and an annotated bibliography for additional sources of information.

Putting Out: The Essential Publishing Resource for Gay and Lesbian Writers. Edited by Edisol W. Dotson. 4th ed. Ref. Z475 .P88 1997 [Subject headings: Publishers and publishing–United States—Directories; Gays’ writings, American–Publishing—Directories; Lesbians’ writings, American–Publishing—Directories; Gay theater–United States—Directories; Lesbian theater–United States—Directories; Erotic literature–Publishing—Directories; Literary agents–United States–Directories]

Though a bit dated, this is still a good resource on lesbian and gay publishers.

 Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies. Edited by Timothy F. Murphy. Ref. HQ75.15 .R43 2000 [Subject headings: Gay and lesbian studies–Handbooks, manuals, etc.; Gay and lesbian studies–Bibliography]

Not an encyclopedia, the Reader’s Guide offers an introduction to topics of interest and then surveys the secondary literature published in English about it. The secondary sources discussed are listed at the beginning of each entry.

 Lesbian Histories and Cultures: an Encyclopedia. Edited by Bonnie Zimmerman. Ref. HQ75.5 .L4395 2000 [Subject headings: Lesbianism—Encyclopedias; Lesbians–Encyclopedias]

St. James Press Gay & Lesbian Almanac. Edited by Neil Schlager. Ref. HQ76.3.U5 S75 1998 [Subject headings: Homosexuality, Male–United States—History; Lesbianism–United States—History; Gay men–United States—Biography; Lesbians–United States—Biography; Gay men–United States—History; Lesbians–United States–History]

Provides a multifaceted overview of lesbian and gay history, culture and communities in the United States. Each chapter has an extensive bibliography of articles, books and Internet resources; there is also a general bibliography at the end.

Stewart, Chuck. Homosexuality and the Law: a Dictionary. Ref. KF4754.5.A68 S74 2001 [Subject headings: Gays–Legal status, laws, etc.–United States—Dictionaries; Homosexuality–Law and legislation–United States–Dictionaries]

Strength in Numbers: a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Resource. Edited by Christa Brelin. Ref. HQ76.3.U5 S77 1996 [Subject headings: Homosexuality–United States–Societies, etc.—Directories; Gays–Services for–United States—Directories]

Lists organizations with descriptions of each, their addresses, phone numbers and home pages.

A word about Subject Headings
Subject headings are terms strung together to create a heading that brings titles of works on subjects together. Subject headings can greatly speed up your research if you know what terms to use. The Purchase College Library, like most U.S. libraries, uses subject headings established by the Library of Congress. Subject headings terms can be found in the Library of Congress Subject Headings books kept on the Reference Carrels near the computers.

Subject headings are assigned when materials are cataloged to bring under one number or stack area things that are on the same subject. Gays is used as a subject heading to cover gay men and lesbians. Lesbians is used for females and Gay men for males. Use Bisexuality and Bisexuals for bisexuals and Transsexualism and Transsexuals for transgendered individuals. Homosexuality and Sexual orientation are also valid subject headings. These subject headings can be subdivided by country or U.S. state.

Mastering the use of Library of Congress subject headings can be tricky, but once you get used to using them, they can help you get your research done faster and more efficiently.

Hint: when finding items in the online catalog, look at the subject headings assigned to it. This is a fast way to find other subject headings to use in searching.

Journals can be found either online or in print—and sometimes in both places. Search a journal title in the library’s online catalog and also check the Online Journals link on the library’s home page (http://www.purchase.edu/library/). Please see the Finding Journal Articles handout for detailed information on how to search for journal articles.

The Advocate (Current Periodicals Room and Microtext; available online—check Online Journals for link).

The national news periodical that comes out monthly which covers local, national and international news, theater, entertainment, book reviews, editorials, interviews and travel.

Christopher Street (HQ75 .C48)

CS was an international gay and lesbian literary magazine that contained nonfiction articles and fiction. In addition, it contained humor, cartoons, book reviews and entertainment. CS ceased publication in 1995.

 The Gay & Lesbian Review (available online—check Online Journals for link).

GLR covers national and international news, interviews, opinions, law, politics and culture.

 Journal of Homosexuality. (HQ75 .J68)—available in part online (check Online Journals for link).

A scholarly journal of international focus, JH focuses each issue on a specific topic, such as law, history, bisexuality or homophobia.

GLQ: a Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (available online—check Online Journals for link).

Another scholarly journal with an international focus, GLQ covers the entire spectrum of queer studies.

Online Databases and Internet Resources
The Library’s Online Catalog: http://purchase.edu/services/instrfac/library/catalog.htm

The catalog contains the holdings of the library. Books, journals, microfilm, microfiche, videos, CDs, DVDs, online books and journals are listed here. Most researchers start with the library catalog.

GenderWatch: http://www.softlineweb.com/softlineweb/genderw.htm

Full-text online database of women’s and gender studies resources. Publications include academic and scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, conference proceedings and government reports.

Humanities Index: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/dbname=humanitiesindex;FSIP

Covers archaeology, philosophy, art, journalism, religion, classics, linguistics, film, music world history, folklore, performing arts and world literature as well as other subjects in the humanities.

Social Sciences Index: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/dbname=socialsciindex;FSIP

Covers anthropology, political science, economics, psychology, geography, sociology and law as well as other subjects in the social sciences.

The Pat Parker/Vito Russo Center Library (New York City): http://www.gaycenter.org/library/

The library of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Center (208 West 13th Street, New York 10011, 212-620-7310). Search the library’s online catalog that uses Library of Congress subject headings. The Center Library has over 9,000 circulating titles. Check the web site for hours and terms of use.


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Library Guide: Using Keywords: Time-Saving Tips for Databases and Search Engines–Purchase College (April, 2001)

Using Keywords: Time-Saving Tips for Databases and Search Engines

What is a keyword?
A keyword is any searchable term in a database record. Depending on the database, keywords can come from the title, author, subject, or (in some cases) anywhere in the record. Choice of keywords can limit or expand your search results.

How do I choose a keyword?
Choosing a keyword is up to you, but keep in mind that a keyword should be a central concept term that will focus in on your topic while giving you a workable number of records. Remember: vary your keyword terms. Do several searches using different keyword terms in combination. Singular and plural terms and synonyms may retrieve different numbers of records.


Boolean operators.
Boolean operators are words that link your keyword terms and can expand or limit your searches. The most common Boolean operators are:

AND (the default operator in most databases): Use AND to limit your search results to only those records containing these specific keywords. For example:

women AND Greece” will bring up only records containing both terms.

OR: Use OR to expand your search results. For example:

women OR Greece” will bring up all records containing “women” and all the records containing the term “Greece”—whether or not the terms are related. OR is especially useful for synonyms such as college OR higher education OR academia.”

NOT: Use NOT to limit your search results. For example:

women AND Greece NOT Athens” will bring up records containing “women” and “Greece” but excludes records that contain “Athens.”

Truncation signs.
Truncation signs (sometimes called “wildcards”) function like Boolean operators, only they expand your searches. Truncation allows you to use shorter terms. Two of the most popular truncation signs are:

*: The asterisk allows you to expand on a shortened term. For example:

wom*” will bring up all the records that contain words starting with “wom:” Womack [an author’s name], woman, womanhood, womanizer, womankind, womanly, womb, wombat, women, and womenfolk.

?: The question mark replaces the letter in a keyword to expand it’s meaning. For example:

wom?n” will bring up all records with the words: woman, womanly, womankind, and women.

Because truncation signs vary from database to database, you must read the help screens to tell which signs can be used in searching.

Combining keywords.
All databases allow you to combine Boolean operators and some allow you to combine Boolean operators and truncation signs. Coupled with some good keywords, you can construct an excellent search strategy. For example, if your topic is “women in rural Greece during the Roman Empire”:

First search: peasants AND women AND Greece”

Second search: farmers AND (girls OR women) AND (Greece NOT Athens)”

Third search: farmers AND wom?n AND Greece”

 … And, once you really understand searching:

Fourth search: peasant* OR farm* AND wom?n AND Gree* NOT Athen*”

A word about punctuation.
Depending on the database, you may not be able to use any punctuation marks when searching. Remember that some punctuation marks are used as truncation signs. Separating an inverted author’s name (i.e. last name, first name) by a comma may not be allowed.

If you need help, our reference staff and faculty are here to assist you. Visit the Reference desk or call 251-6410

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